writes "I have a friend who has a small datacenter (SQL/Mail/IIS/File Repository ... 5 or 10 servers) and he was saying that his boss wants to see some kind of 'visual display of changing metrics' — Net/server/sql stats with moving lines and graphs and pretty colors. Basically they want something to display on a big LCD panel that will give a tiny bit of 'Wow' factor to customer visits. Back in my datacenter days I saw a million packages to do this stuff, but I was always blessed with an IT budget for metrics/monitoring. Can anyone suggest a free/cheap package that will make pretty moving pictures, moving lines, graphs, etc. from server/net stats? There's no worry about actually using this for real data tracking or metrics purposes. He has a pretty robust log/alert/metrics setup, but command line is a little too dry for marketing purposes. I jokingly suggested he just use a looped flash animation but he actually does want stats that are coming from and reflect his environment. Anyone know of any cheap or free data center stats/metrics 'Eye Candy' software out there?"
Better yet, can you think of any particularly interesting ways to display that sort of information?